Illinois State Police to pay out for overcharging for FOIDs

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Illinois isn’t a gun-friendly state. We all know this by now, of course. By extension of state lawmakers’ anti-gun stances, even the Illinois State Police are fairly anti-gun in how they deal with things.

This wouldn’t be a huge problem, except they’re also the agency you have to go to in order to get or carry a gun.

But hey, the police would be sure to do everything by the book, right? Well, not so much. They apparently overcharged a lot of people for permit fees and got caught. Now, they’re having to pay out a lot of money because of it.

Illinois State Police will no longer be charging vendor fees for applicants of the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. They’ll also have to pay legal fees of up to $100,000 in a lawsuit brought by an applicant who said he was overcharged.

Some FOID card holders Thursday were sent a notification about an agreement to settle a class action case involving the fees paid for applying for a FOID card. Some payment options included a fee above the $10 laid out in state law.

“Generally, the case alleges that 430 ILCS 65/5 sets the cost for an Illinois Firearms Owners Identification Card at $10.00,” the notification sent by email said. “However, since March 15, 2015, Defendants have charged the $10.00 statutory fee plus applicable processing fee for an Illinois [FOID]. Currently, there exists no mechanism to obtain an Illinois Firearms Owners Identification Card for $10.00.”

The case in Madison County has Gary Terr as an individual suing the chief of the ISP Firearms Services Bureau and Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs on behalf of others.

“The parties have agreed to a proposed settlement,” the notification said.

I honestly don’t know how the Illinois State Police thought this was a viable strategy.

The law says the permit should cost $10. That means you shouldn’t have to pay more than $10. But the Illinois State Police decided to add additional charges for people to pay because they figured they could.

It’s nice to see the courts smack them down over this one.

See, it’s bad enough that you’re requiring a FOID before someone can exercise their right to keep and bear arms. That needs to be struck down in court, as well, but when the law explicitly states the permit should cost X amount, that’s what the cost should be. No agency gets to decide to ramp up those fees unless the law explicitly allows them that discretion.

Illinois does not, surprisingly.

The only issue I have with making the Illinois State Police pay over this is that it’s still ultimately the taxpayers footing the bill. People will get paid money that was originally their’s. No one who made the initial decision will be punished the least little bit, and that is the big problem in this mess.

Well, that and the whole requiring a permit thing.

Just think, if Illinois didn’t require a permit to purchase and own a firearm, then the Illinois State Police wouldn’t have gotten sued for screwing people over.

Yet another reason to support gun rights.